I “met” Priscilla Bettis several years ago when the Horror Writers Association put us in touch. She is a voracious reader whose blog is a fascinating record of her interests and pursuits. Her haunting novella The Hay Bale came out in January.
Priscilla contributed an essay called “Not a Tourist Attraction” to Death’s Garden Revisited, a collection I edited of 40 essays about visiting cemeteries around the world. The book reached its funding goal on Kickstarter and is now available for preorders. Treat yourself to a copy here.
Priscilla Bettis read her first horror story — The Exorcist — when she was ten. The Exorcist scared Priscilla silly and she was hooked on horror from that moment on. Priscilla is an excellent swimmer, which is good because vampires are terrible swimmers. Priscilla grew up in Alaska where her essay takes place. Keep up with what she’s been reading — and publishing — at priscillabettisauthor.com.
What’s your favorite thing to do in a cemetery?
Leave flowers for a stranger because strangers need love too.
Tell me about your favorite cemetery.
The Old City Cemetery in Lynchburg, Virginia, is my favorite cemetery. It covers twenty-seven acres and has vibrant antique roses next to somber Civil War graves. The contrast leaves me speechless each time I visit.
Is there a cemetery or gravesite you’ve always wanted to visit?
I think it’d be interesting to visit more small-town cemeteries. There are always historic, little facts to learn. Recently I learned about a terrible gas explosion in the little town of Ranger, Texas, in the early 20th century.
If you had a say in it, what would your epitaph be?
Priscilla doesn’t lie here because she donated her body to science.
Do you have a favorite song about cemeteries or graveyards?
I feel sorry for people whose loved ones simply disappeared due to crime or war or natural disasters. So I choose “Ghost Riders in the Sky” by Johnny Cash for all those whose bodies don’t have a final resting place.